These Soft Beer Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip are soft and fluffy pretzels with a cheesy dip. Perfect for game day, parties, or any time you need a snack to go with your beer.
Beer and pretzels go together like – well like beer and cheese. And like cheese and pretzels. They all just go together really well, OK? When Fred Meyer asked me to develop a recipe using local, Northwest beer, my first thought was soft beer pretzels. Although the possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with beer, I kept coming back to pretzels.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fred Meyer. The opinions and text are all mine.
Not only did I want to make pretzels, I wanted to make a pretzel that was chewy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. I also wanted a cheesy dip to go with it. And why should we just drink the beer with the pretzels and dip? Isn’t it even better to put the beer INTO the pretzels? AND the dip? Of course we will drink some beer when we eat them as well, I mean come on.
When faced with the decision of which beer to choose, I had some tough choices. Of course the Pacific Northwest is full of fantastic breweries, so one could hardly go wrong. But in the end I decided to go with my hometown favorite of Ninkasi. Ninkasi Brewing Company was started in Eugene, Oregon (where I spent most of my formative years), and has become very popular on the west coast. Luckily for me they have a seasonal lager available right now, so I grabbed a 6-pack at Fred Meyer. Which my husband drank before I got around to working on my recipe. Can’t blame the guy, Ninkasi is one of his favorites.
So I bought another 6-pack – make that two – and set to work on making some soft and fluffy pretzels (with beer!) and a warm and cheesy beer dip to go with them. The first version turned out OK, but could have been better and I wasn’t a fan of the classic style beer cheese sauce that I made. I ended up making a much creamier, cheesier dip with just a hint of beer and I was much happier with it.
Although these pretzels have beer in them, they aren’t overwhelming with beer flavor. There is just a hint of beer flavor, enough so that you know it is there but not so much that it tastes like you are eating a beer. And the beer in the cheesy dip sets off the richness of the cheese perfectly. Of course you can fully round out these flavors by serving everything with an ice cold beer.
Really, beer, cheese, and warm, fluffy pretzels? How could you ask for more?
- 1 bottle of beer, such as a lager (12 ounces)
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 and ¼ teaspoons)
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 and ½ cups)
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cups baking soda
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- kosher salt for topping (or pretzel salt if you can find it)
- vegetable oil for bowl
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup grated white cheddar
- ¾ cup grated mozzarella, divided
- ¼ cup beer (I used a lager)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- a few dashes hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Warm the beer to 110-115 degrees.
- In a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, add the warm beer, sugar, kosher salt, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes, or until it starts to get foamy.
- Add the butter and the flour. Turn the mixer to low to medium speed and mix until dough comes together.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and clinging to the dough hook (not stuck to the side of the bowl).
- In a clean bowl, add enough oil to coat the inside of the bowl (can spray with cooking spray or add about 1 teaspoon of oil and brush to coat inside of bowl) Quickly form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning once to coat the dough in oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, then allow to rise for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425
- Line two baking sheets (Use silpat or parchment paper)
- In a large pot, bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil.
- Meanwhile, shape pretzels. Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and divide into 8 pieces. Flatten each piece into a rectangle, then roll into a cigar shape. Pinch the seams together. Then roll the dough out into a 24 inch rope. Bring the two ends of the rope up to form a "U" shape. Twist the two end pieces around each other once, then cross the end pieces back down to the bottom of the "U" to complete the pretzel shape. (See above photo)
- When all pretzels are shaped, add them 2 at a time to the pot of boiling water, allow them to boil for 30 seconds. Then remove from the water with a spider or large spatula and place on the baking sheets.
- Brush each pretzel with the egg mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned.
- Serve with beer cheese dip (below)
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a medium bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth. Add the grated cheddar cheese and ½ cup of the grated mozzarella, stir to combine.
- Add the garlic powder, beer and hot sauce, stir until completely mixed.
- Pour into a baking dish* and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella on top.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until melted and top is golden.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired and serve.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fred Meyer . The opinions and text are all mine.